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Platte County taxpayers are on the hook for at least $70,000 in legal fees incurred by Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd in connection with an ethics complaint filed against him in May 2016.

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The families of five patients who died under mysterious circumstances in 2002 at a Chillicothe, Missouri, hospital got some bad news three years ago.

The Missouri Supreme Court refused to allow their wrongful death lawsuits against the hospital to proceed. The court said the families had filed their lawsuits too late, five years after the three-year statute of limitations had run out.

Platte County

This story was updated 8:58 a.m. Wednesday to include Eric Zahnd's reaction to the Supreme Court order.  

The Missouri Supreme Court has issued a public reprimand of Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd after finding that he violated three ethical rules governing attorney conduct.

The terse, one-page order did not lay out the court’s reasoning. Instead, it merely listed the rules Zahnd was found to have violated and stated that he should be disciplined.

The Satanic Temple

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this month in a case that challenges two of the state's abortion restrictions, the three-day waiting period and the requirement that abortion providers give patients a booklet that defines life as beginning at conception.

Many such restrictions have gone in front of the court for years. What is unusual about this case is the name of the group that the plaintiff is a part of: The Satanic Temple. The southeast Missouri woman and the group argue that the rules prevent her from practicing her faith. 

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In a decision with potentially far-reaching implications for discrimination law in Missouri, the state's high court on Tuesday agreed to hear two LGBT cases. 

One involves a transgender teenager who sued the Blue Springs R-IV School District in 2015 for denying him access to the men's bathroom.

The other involves a gay man, Harold Lampley, who claimed he was harassed by his employer because he didn't conform to stereotypical masculine behavior. 

Platte County

A lawyer for the Missouri agency that oversees lawyer conduct urged a disciplinary panel to suspend the law license of Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd for at least six months.

The recommendation by Nancy L. Ripperger, an attorney with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel (OCDC), came at the end of two days of often combative testimony before the panel, which will recommend whether and to what extent to punish Zahnd.

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday on whether the state can determine that a mother is unfit because a court has previously terminated her right to parent other children.

The case involves a Kansas City-area mother who lost the rights to her older children — a ruling that became evidence in a hearing over infant twin girls. Her attorneys say the law that allows that to happen violates her constitutional rights to be a parent.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 21 with governor's office declining comment — A nonprofit that seeks to overturn wrongful convictions has asked Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to put Tuesday’s scheduled execution on hold.

The Midwest Innocence Project said new DNA evidence presented last week shows Marcellus Williams didn’t kill former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Felicia Gayle in 1998.

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Brent Powell to the state Supreme Court.

Powell, a Springfield native and Mizzou law grad, will fill a seat on the seven-member court that has been vacant since Judge Richard Teitelman died in November.

At age 46, he will be the youngest member of the Missouri Supreme Court.  

Kansas City lawyers who dealt with Powell, both when he was a prosecutor and a judge, applauded his selection.

Stand Up KC

Councilman Quinton Lucas says Kansas City needs to act to raise the minimum wage — now. 

In the past few weeks, the debate over raising the minimum wage is Kansas City has been revived. Here's a quick overview of what's happened so far:

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Chef Lidia Bastianich has been bringing Italian food to public television viewers since 1998. Now, she's bringing the tastes of Carnevale di Venezia to her Kansas City restaurant. Then, President Trump's executive order suspending entry of refugees and citizens from seven predominately-Muslim countries has been met with controversy.

Updated Jan. 31, 9:34 p.m. - The state of Missouri has carried out its first execution since May of 2016.

According to a statement from the Department of Corrections, Mark Christeson's lethal injection began at 6:57 p.m., and he was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.

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On this weeks Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, Rep. Kevin Corlew (R-Kansas City) talks about Real ID, Governor Eric Greitens' budget cuts, and legislation to change the standards for expert witnesses.

Guests:

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An ordinance seeking to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City to $15 an hour by 2021 failed to get enough votes from the city council to make it onto the ballot in April.

After Thursday's decision, Dr. Vernon Howard, president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City called the no vote “morally bankrupt.”

Updated at 11:50 a.m. with additional comments and information on the replacement process.

A leading liberal voice in the Missouri legal community has died.

Judge Richard Teitelman was 69. The Missouri Supreme Court confirmed his death in a brief press release Tuesday morning.  Teitelman had been dealing with health problems for some time, including complications from diabetes.

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A loophole in Missouri's criminal code means most stealing cases are no longer felonies. 

On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court reduced multiple felonies for a woman convicted of stealing firearms to misdemeanors, citing vague language written into the state's criminal code in 2002. 

The court looked at the case of Amanda Bazell, who was convicted of felony stealing. Her lawyer noticed that the language in the criminal code that designates stealing offenses as felonies was unclear.  The court agreed. 

Here's what the court's opinion states:

Missouri's long-ailing Second Injury Fund is at the center of a lawsuit heard Tuesday before the State Supreme Court.

A lawsuit that’s delaying the implementation of Missouri’s student transfer law in the Kansas City area was heard Wednesday by the Missouri Supreme Court. At issue is a lower court ruling that declared the law to be an unfunded mandate for schools in Independence, North Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, but not for Blue Springs and Raytown. 

Attorney Duane Martin argued Blue Springs’ position before the High Court, saying it would be an unfunded mandate for them as well.

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Missouri lawmakers have sent legislation to Governor Jay Nixon that would levy local sales taxes on vehicles purchased in other states with voters’ approval. 

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Missouri’s Supreme Court has effectively overturned state caps on non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases.  Read more about about the decision here.

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the State Auditor’s authority to prepare fiscal notes and summaries for citizen-initiated ballot questions. 

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

The Missouri State Court serving much of Kansas City and The Veterans’ Administration Medical Center have inaugurated the region’s first drug court veterans’ program. 

Three decisions from the Missouri Supreme Court today leave the state in Congressional redistricting limbo. Two of the rulings say lower court decisions rejecting suits over the boundaries two districts were wrong and the suits must be considered. The two districts were Representative Emanuel Cleaver's 5th Distrct and one in eastern Missouri.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR:

  • Missouri Supreme Court Hears Redistricting Lawsuits
  • Brownback’s Budget Proposal Restores Some Arts Funding
  • New Play Tackles Bullying and Disability

Supreme Court Orders Payment: City Funds Lacking

Jan 26, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The chief attorney at City Hall in Kansas City can't find much to contest in a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that will cost the city $2.1 million. And they are dollars the city can ill afford.

With one dissenting vote, Justices upheld a mid-level court ruling against the city, and in favor of Melissa Howard. She had claimed discrimination when the city council, five years ago, threw out a panel on which she was named to replace a white female judge leaving municipal court.

All nominees were white and women.